Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/10/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/10/2016

1. Phone Battery Warning for Ships
The Standard Club is warning shipowners to be carerful when transporting lithium-ion batteries in the wake of widespread reports of many Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones self-igniting. “The exposure to members arising from carriage of these batteries is potentially wide and includes claims in respect of damage to cargo and hull by fire, personal injury, deviation, storage and disposal costs, pollution, salvage or even wreck removal,” the P&I club noted in an alert to members. Lithium-ion batteries are classified as Class 9 goods (under UN numbers 3480 and 3481) in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.
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2. Singapore Failing to Stem Tide
Singapore has fallen behind other Asian countries in developing and enforcing regulations that prevent illicit trades, a new report showed. The Southeast Asian city-state was ranked seventh out of the 17 economies in the Asia Pacific on The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Illicit Trade Environment Index , scoring lower than Hong Kong and neighbour Malaysia. Australia topped the index, which examined countries’ ability to curb illicit trade in four categories: intellectual property; transparency and trade; customs environment and supply; and demand. New Zealand and Hong Kong rounded out the top three.
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3. UN SecGen on Piracy
Although significant, the Secretary General of the UN has written that progress against Somali piracy remains fragile and reversible. Credible reports indicate that Somali pirates possess the intent and capability to resume attacks against large commercial ships, should the opportunity present itself, and to endanger smaller vessels, which remain particularly vulnerable. There have been reports of pirate groups being organized and equipped in Mudug and in the area in the Horn of Africa east of Boosaasoin Puntland. The uncertain political situation in the central region of Somalia could trigger a resurgence of piracy.
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4. Suez Embraces New Model
In a radical shift for its pricing mechanism, the Suez Canal Authority is in discussions with a number of the world’s leading containerlines in a move that could intensify the battle for business the waterway is fighting with the expanded Panama Canal. Egyptian authorities are pushing for the largest lines including Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM, to sign up to a new pricing structure where discounts are offered if the shipping firms agree to pay for three years in advance rather than the traditional model of individual transit contracts. Suez was winning box traffic war, but the revamped Panama Canal has clawed traffic back.
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5. David Attenborough Construction Begins
The construction of the polar research ship almost named Boaty McBoatface will begin on Monday in Merseyside. The £200 million ship is to be named the "RRS Sir David Attenborough" despite Boaty McBoatface being the overwhelming choice in a public vote earlier this year. Sir David was in Birkenhead this week to commence laying of the first block of the keel – this traditional maritime ceremony is a key part of the building process, and it is also a ceremony which is supposed to bring good luck to the vessel – as the ship’s construction begins at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead.
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6. Value of Box Ships Plunges
The value of second-hand Panamax container ships has plunged by as much as 45 percent in a month with 5-year-old vessels taking the biggest hit, according to vesselsvalue.com. The slump in the price of Panamax vessels, which have a capacity of between 3,000 and 5,300 twenty-foot-equivalent units, coincides in a surge in their unemployment level to an all-time high as larger vessels can now transit the widened Panama Canal. The value of a 4,250-TEU Panamax ship built in 2009 dropped by just more than 45 percent in September, while a 2011-built ship’s price was down 39 percent, according to vesselsvalue.com.
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7. Container Ship Cocaine Bust
136 Kilos of Cocaine have been seized from a container ship in Mexico in a bust by the local Navy on October 15, 2016, according to reports. The Singapore Pacific International Lines container ship "Kota Lukis" was berthed at the Port of Manzanillo on Saturday, when a raid by the Mexican Navy revealed the large drug stash hidden amongst the 4,253 containers on board. The crew have not been named as suspects, and the ship was allowed to leave the port and continue its service once the cocaine was seized, the ship had come to Mexico from Buenaventura, Colombia.
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8. Stressing the Value of Seafarers
At the 19th Maritime HR & Crew Management Conference in London, Commodore Barry Bryant CVO RN, Director General of the Seafarers UK charity, will update delegates on the exciting opportunity provided by the UK Maritime Growth Study (MGS) to promote maritime employment opportunities. As chair of Maritime UK’s ‘People & Skills’ Awareness Group, Commodore Bryant will talk about MGS Recommendation 14: For the promotional body recommended in this report to coordinate, including with the Merchant Navy Training Board, Maritime Skills Alliance, Seavision and the role of awareness raising activities.
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9. Striving for Workers Rights
A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Monday it was striving to improve workers’ rights at shipbreaking yards it uses in India after criticisms of hazardous conditions. The Danish company also expressed regret that a ship it sold this year, the North Sea Producer, had then been taken to a shipbreaking yard in Bangladesh, after Danish media last week showed workers using precarious rope ladders to climb the hull. Most shipping companies send old ships to shipbreaking yards in India, Bangladesh or Pakistan because they will dismantle container ships almost as long as three soccer pitches at relatively cheap prices.
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10. Looking for Big Euro Buyers
Hanjin Shipping Co. will reach out to major European shipping companies as early as this week to tap interest for at least five of its vessels as it tries to raise funds to unload stranded cargo, pay off creditors and re-emerge as an Asia regional carrier, people involved in the matter said. “The sale sign is up,” one of those people said. “They will reach out to Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and others to sell some of their biggest ships that can go for up to $90 million each.” A.P. Moller Maersk A/S, is looking for acquisitions, while MSC is the second biggest operator and is also looking to buy.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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